Trump says sexual assault accusers are lying

Welcome to McClatchy’s Voter Survival Guide, an interactive presentation of daily events from one of the strangest presidential campaigns in modern history.

Donald Trump remains defiant after a slew of women accused the Republican presidential nominee of sexual assault.

“These vicious claims about me of inappropriate conduct with women are totally and absolutely false,” he said at a lively West Palm Beach, Florida rally. “These claims are all fabricated, they’re pure fiction, and they’re outright lies. These events never, ever happened, and the people that said them meekly, fully understand.”

Trump said recent events amount to a “conspiracy” that will be resolved Nov. 8.

“This is a conspiracy against you, the American people,” Trump said. “Our independence day is at hand, and it arrives, finally, on Nov. 8.”

Clinton’s campaign continues to deal with the fallout over leaked internal emails.

The New York TImes issued a scathing response after Trump threatened a lawsuit on Thursday, a potentially damaging decision if he follows through with plans to sue.

Michelle Obama hit the campaign trail and took Trump to task over the recent accusations.

A new poll in Ohio gives Trump a glimmer of hope, but he still faces long odds to win with the current state of the race.

The polls open nationally in 24 days. Let’s get started.

Trump digs in

Trump spent over 45 minutes berating his accusers and the media, accusing them of lying to sink his White House bid.

His campaign threatened to sue the New York Times over the publication of two accounts of unwanted touching and kissing by women who met Trump. One of the incidents allegedly took place in the 1970s and the other occurred in 2005.

If Trump sued the Times, he would need to prove “actual malice” to win a lawsuit since he is undoubtedly a public figure.

“Recovery by Mr. Trump against The New York Times would be extremely difficult,” said Rodney Smolla, dean of Widener University’s Delaware Law School. “The burden of proof would be on Mr. Trump to prove that the allegations against him are false.”

Clinton’s campaign chief has a bad day

WikiLeaks is releasing thousands of emails daily from Clinton campaign chief John Podesta, and his Apple ID was part of the hacked documents. Within hours his iPad and iPhone had their data erased.

It turns out the same password controlled his Twitter account, and within in minutes he was hacked, tweeting his “support” for Trump.

Michelle Obama goes after Trump

The First Lady was in New Hampshire for a campaign rally, but her voice began to shake with emotion as she described Donald Trump.

“I can't believe I'm saying a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women,” Obama said. “I know this is a campaign but this isn't about politics. It's about basic human decency.”

One piece of good news for Trump

Despite plenty of polls indicating eroding support for the Republican nominee, he comes out on top by one percentage point in Ohio according to a NBC/WSJ poll conducted after the debate.

Links of Note

Fox anchor posts link to Trump accusers phone number and address (McClatchy)

Trump’s moment of reckoning (CNN)

Hillary Clinton answers 25 questions in writing on email practices (CBS)

Have a question about the candidates, the campaign, the process, the election itself? Ask us here.

Alex Daugherty: 202-383-6049, @alextdaugherty